Agent Name

Ethyl ether

Alternative Name

Diethyl ether

CAS Number

60-29-7

Formula

C4-H10-O

Major Category

Solvents

Synonyms

Diethyl ether; 1,1'-Oxybisethane; 3-Oxapentane; Aether; Anaesthetic ether; Anesthesia ether; Anesthetic ether; Diaethylaether [German]; Diethyl oxide; Dwuetylowy eter [Polish]; Etere etilico [Italian]; Ethane, 1,1'-oxybis-; Ether; Ether ethylique [French]; Ether, ethyl; Ethoxyethane; Ethyl ether; Ethyl ether, tech.; Ethyl oxide; Oxyde d'ethyle [French]; Pronarcol; Solvent ether; [ChemIDplus] UN1155

Category

Ethers (<C12)

Description

Colorless liquid with a pungent, sweetish odor; Note: A gas above 94 degrees F; [NIOSH]

Sources/Uses

Used as a solvent and a reagent in organic syntheses; [ACGIH] Used as a solvent (waxes, fats, oils, perfumes, gums, nitrocellulose, alkaloids); Also used to prime gasoline engines; [Merck Index]

Comments

Abnormal liver function tests has been reported in patients anesthetized with ethyl ether. Abuse of ether by workers, "ether jags," has been reported. [ACGIH] Ethyl ether is in the list of "Some volatile substances which may be abused by inhalation" published on the web site of the U.N. International Drug Control Programme, indicating its potential to cause narcosis in workers. [Reference #1] An eye and respiratory tract irritant; [ICSC]

Reference Link

Volatile Substance Abuse

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Insufficient data

TLV (ACGIH)

400 ppm

STEL (ACGIH)

500 ppm

PEL (OSHA)

400 ppm

MAK

400 ppm

IDLH (NIOSH)

1900 ppm

Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs

Human data: The lowest anesthetic limit is 19,000 ppm [Clayton and Clayton 1981]. It has been stated that the inhalation of 2,000 ppm if continued to equilibrium in the blood would cause dizziness in some persons [Henderson and Haggard 1943]. Concentrations in the workplace of 500 to 1,000 ppm or more have not resulted in demonstrable injury to health [Cook 1945]. It has been reported that the inhalation of 35,000 ppm causes loss of consciousness within 30 to 40 minutes, and concentrations above 75,000 ppm are dangerous to life [Pennsylvania 1973].

Vapor Pressure

538 mm Hg

Odor Threshold Low

0.3 ppm

Lethal Concentration

LCLo (rat) = 32,000 ppm/4h

Explanatory Notes

IDLH = 10% LEL; Odor threshold (100% recognition) from CHEMINFO; Flash point = -45 deg C;

Flammability (NFPA)

4: Burns readily

Adverse Effects
Neurotoxin

CNS Solvent Syndrome

Hepatotoxin

Hepatotoxin, Secondary

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

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Chemical Information

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Biomedical References

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Related Information in HazMap
Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent: